Inspiration

I have two kids that are learning to rhyme at pre-school. They also seem to take to interacting with our Echo (which I've forced them to call "computer"). I wanted to build a game with Alexa that helped them learn to rhyme and learn some of the nursery rhymes that I grew up hearing.

I originally built Rhyme Time two years ago, but then learned that Amazon was not yet allowing Skills for kids under 13... which is obviously who it was geared towards.

What it does

Kids can ask Rhyme Time to play a game. "Alexa, play Rhyme Time." Alexa will start a stanza from one of three Mother Goose Rhymes and then

How I built it

I built Rhyme Time over the course of many, many evenings. I tested it repeatedly on my kids (and myself). It's all node.js. Zero ajax calls to external libraries.

Challenges I ran into

I think I went back and forth with the approval group about five times working on different bits. It's hard to think about all the different paths a user might go down in answering a prompt.

There is a also a lot of documentation to read.

What I learned

I learned a lot about poetry! At first I thought I could write an algorithm to find rhyming words, but I quickly realized that

(a) this is super hard (b) kids like repetition and don't actually need that many different rhymes.

I also learned that Alexa can NOT recognize the difference between "fall" and "full" and "foal"

What's next for Rhyme Time

I need to add a lot more rhymes!

I'm considering expanding it to Shakespeare and other poetry to help people learn them.

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